February 2011 print competition slideshow

February’s print competition took place Tuesday, February 22, 2011 and was judged by photographer Hugh Hargrave. The slideshow from this meeting is courtesy of HPS member Leslie Stessel. The special assignment theme for the month was “Small Town USA.”

This month’s print competition winners’ photos will be posted in the near future once all photos have been received.

February 2011 print competition

When? Tuesday, February 22, 2011 : 7-9 p.m.
Where? Tracy Gee Community Center
What? Join us for our monthly print competition. HPS members may bring up to two total prints in their respective group (bronze, silver or gold – new members begin in the bronze group). All members may enter the monthly Special Assignment but keep in mind that doing so still counts towards your two total prints.

This month’s Special Assignment theme is “Small Town USA.”

Afterwards, feel free to join us for the meeting after the meeting as many of us will drive a very short distance to La Madeleine French Country Cafe (10001 Westheimer Rd) for some social interaction and late night snack.

Pinhole outing 2011 was a blur

Photos from the outing
Click on thumbnail to view full image.

More than a dozen HPS members made their way to George Ranch, just east of Sugar Land, Texas, this past Saturday, Feb. 12 to participate in a pinhole photography outing.

Organized by HPS activities coordinator Nathalie Brouard, this popular outing followed a successful program meeting about pinhole photography the previous Tuesday evening.

Individuals tested their new “pinhole lens” at George Ranch, which comprised of a drilled out camera body cap with clear plastic for the lens and a pinhole-sized hole fashioned from aluminum tape.

The clear plastic lens was then painted black to keep light from bouncing within the camera body.

On April 26, the special assignment category is “Pinhole Photography” for the April monthly print competition.

This coincides with Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD). HPS is a selected event for WPPD.

Video put together by Nathalie Brouard from the outing.

To learn more about pinhole photography, visit the Wikipedia site.

Portfolio Review: online series

Artist Statement

Made with Love and Yummy for the Tummy

Taking pictures of foods I have eaten helps memories return again and again. These images are of foods my aunt prepared for Passovers over the years. She is a great cook and family is always the main course. This portfolio honors Aunt Lil.

About the Photographer

Leslie Stessel

My interest in photography began at the age of 13 years old when I received my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye, which I still own. About 10 years ago, I decided to attend Houston Community College and finesse my photography skills. Today, I am a semi-professional part-time photographer for weddings, events, etc.

~Leslie Stessel

One of the more valuable features that membership with the Houston Photographic Society provides is what’s known as the annual Portfolio Review that takes place every second Tuesday and Thursday in October.

It is similar to what FotoFest offers. However, HPS features it yearly and it is inclusive of the yearly membership dues.

Every year, members are encouraged to put forth a portfolio of photos comprised of a cohesive body of work and exhibit them as if they would be shown at a gallery or museum.

It is wise to think in advance about such a portfolio prior to starting it instead of simply collecting bodies of work that are lying around. It can take several months to photograph and prepare for proper presentation.

The porfolio must have a common theme with a continuity of printing and presentation including an artist statement.

If you would like to know how to better prepare your own portfolio, please refer to our Portfolio Review section of the website or speak with HPS Portfolio Review Chairman Jim Fife, as he is always happy to share his wisdom in this area.

We will be featuring previous year portfolios online now from our membership who wish to share. The goal is to feature one or two per month to give members and prospective members a taste of what to expect and possibly how to prepare.

This first one in this new series features Leslie Stessel.

HPS activity this Saturday

Part II: Test your new pinhole camera

The first activity/field trip for 2011 will take place this Saturday, Feb. 12 at George Ranch Historical Park. Meet us at the ticket office at 11 a.m. This is the second part of three in the pinhole series.

This is also a sanctioned event from the Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day (WPPD). If you like the pictures you produce with your pinhole camera, consider submitting them to the WPPD.

If you could not make it to Part I this past Tuesday, you are still welcomed to join the photo-shoot outing. If you want to try to make a pinhole lens, bring a body cap (which you have drilled a hole 2-5 mm diameter in the center) and Nathalie Brouard will bring aluminium tape and accessories to help you complete your pinhole lens. Of course you can also use your regular lens and simply enjoy the location.

Advice for the pinhole photo-shoot:

  • don’t forget your tripod,
  • clean your sensor if using a dSLR (the smallest bit of dust shows very well with pinhole lens),
  • be ready for a little bit of post processing (low contrast images), and know that
  • pinhole images are very good in monochrome although they look great in color too.

Part II of this pinhole series will take place as the special assignment for the April 26 print competition meeting.

The George Ranch Historical Park is located 30 miles southwest of downtown Houston.

10215 FM 762 Road
Richmond, TX 77469
(281) 343-0218

  • Take US 59 South
  • Exit Grand Parkway/Hwy 99
  • Turn left (south) at the traffic light on Crabb River Road (FM 2759)
  • The Park’s main entrance is located 6 miles down the road on the right


  • $9 (Adults)
  • $8 (Seniors 62+)
  • $5 (Children ages 5-15)
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